The first ever School Diversity Week was officially launched in Parliament on Tuesday, with the support of the Education Secretary, Peter Tatchell and dozens of other MPs and celebrities.
A special reception was hosted by the Speaker of the House of Commons to mark a week of school celebrations in support of LGBT+ diversity, which runs from June 20-24.
School Diversity Week is organised by the charity Just Like Us, which aims to tackle bullying in schools and make classrooms a happier place for LGBT+ children.
Adding her support to the event, Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “It was a real pleasure to be able to support Just Like Us who do amazing work supporting LGBT role models going into schools and is at the forefront of something amazing and inspirational.
“It is so important that our children grow up accepting one another’s differences and are able to learn in environments which allow them to embrace their diversity and be themselves.”
The initiative has the official backing of the Department for Education, along with support from the Labour party, SNP and Liberal Democrats. Today MPs joined the gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell and television doctor Ranj Singh at a special reception in the Speaker’s apartments to celebrate the launch.
Speaking at the event, founder and CEO of Just Like Us Tim Ramsey said: “School Diversity Week is an amazing chance for schools to unite their whole community in promoting positive views among young people about LGBT people. It has been so inspiring to see schools organising amazing events from music concerts to sporting competitions. I know how much it would have meant to me - and to so many of our volunteers - to have been in environments which talk openly and celebrate the value and importance of LGBT diversity.”
Co-founder of School Diversity Week and ITV Political Correspondent Paul Brand added: “Next week many of us will be celebrating gay pride, and as adults pride is generally what we feel. But for too many LGBT children, their early experience can still be one of uncertainty, fear and even shame. We’re so excited that School Diversity Week will be the first coordinated attempt to tackle that anxiety involving tens of thousands of pupils.”